This is an adwords case study of an ecommerce store where the 7Digits PPC team achieved a 340% growth in revenue solely by fine-tuning AdWords campaigns.
In August 2016 a fairly large Hungarian wristwatch ecommerce store signed with 7Digits – the objective was to polish AdWords revenue as much as we could. We sat down to identify key KPIs, business model and main products – which was a challenge, since the store offers over six thousand different models. We were enthusiastic to see whether we could improve their adwords performance by a few percents.
That’s how it looked at the start
- The account structure was pretty well thought out, the ad groups were sufficiently segmented – checkmark
- All the campaigns had test ads and looking at the history it was obvious they were doing a pretty good job finding the best USPs for their customers, resulting in a whopping 15-25% CTR – little room for improvement here…
- Ad extensions were up and running, all settings properly adjusted – damn, the previous guy knew the drill…
- Quality score up in the clouds – barely found any keyword under 8 – pretty good job there too. – Sigh, I have seen easier jobs than an almost perfectly polished account.
Options left for us
- They didn’t use broad match modifiers
- They only had campaigns for a few selected watch brands
- Their remarketing seemed to be overly broad
They were really, really close to get out the most of Adwords. It didn’t seem like the day of the big impact for our small agency.
First hesitant steps
We started with setting up a dynamic search ad for all the watches in stock by finding unique phrases on the product pages which were available without needing to wait for delivery. I’ve picked this strategy because it would’ve been a gruntload of time to gather the statistically significant number of conversions before we can pick a set of keywords and create it’s own campaign based on data.
Now here comes the detailed part:
Please feel free to skip this section if you’re not here for the technical details.
This is how to achieve this kind of growth
In this section of this Adwords case study, I’ll explain how to set up a Dynamic Search Ad campaign.
We were done with the settings, it was time to create some ads. You have two options here: creating simple text ads and/or dynamic ads. If you’ve split the site granularly enough you can use the expanded text ads to create specific copies. In other cases choose dynamic ads and profit from the power of dynamic headlines – but for a cost: you’re going to have less characters to operate with in the other parts of the ad.
If you’re ready with the ads, you’re pretty much all set, all other sections are the same. You can create ad extensions, RLSA audiences and more if you want.
We also added keywords with broad match modifier match type. That way we could catch more search queries and gain additional ideas for profitable ad groups to test.
Things went south again
To the top of all difficulties, dialogue with the store had to be suspended for a month due to some unfortunate external issues to focus on from their side. No other options left, we let the campaigns collecting the data. I didn’t have high hopes, but our team did whatever we could..
After a month of inactivity we finally got back on track in December – and we already had Christmas coming… The very limited time frame before the Holidays didn’t leave us much space to create heavenly creatives, but the company was one of our first clients; There was no plan B. We badly needed to pull this off.
Let’s go all-in then
I dug deep into analytics and compared the previous 3 years to see which campaigns brought the most revenue for the lowest cost per conversion in this pretty broad period. I also looked into the assisted conversions to make sure we don’t pause anything that has significant role in the conversion path. An action plan started to form. We took a deep breath, and
Reallocated our entire budget aligning the goals to the long-term insights.
Paused keywords and ad groups with no conversion or too high cost per conversions (something the previous PPC expert just didn’t dare to do before.)
Wrote new ads, then rephrased them again and again. Expanded text ads were new at that time and I thought maybe moving quickly could be a significant advantage for us – it turned out to be a colossal idea! We also set up a new remarketing campaign for cart abandoners leading them back to their cart.
A month later
After the end of January we looked like this, compared to the previous year:
Let’s take a quick look at assisted conversions:
Better – but it’s still not Nirvana. Hell, how will I write an adwords case study from this?
Good old optimization
So we started to optimize the campaigns: we adjusted bids, added some negative keywords, wrote even more ad copies, set up bid adjustments by device type and rewrote the ad extensions.
By February, it all came out to this:
At the end, we managed to increase last click conversions value
plus the bonus in assisted conversions!
We still have a lot of room for improvement, we are testing new keyword groups, and writing even better ad copies. For the record: Some of the originals are working so well that we still couldn’t outperform them – at least not by doing the regular optimization.
Meanwhile, another squad of our team helped the client develop a 15 step guide to improve the shopping experience through influence psychology, while we, the geeks were focusing on further boosting conversion rates, and reducing bounce and cart abandonment rates.
Key takeaways of this Adwords case study
Optimize for conversions and cost per conversion
Check assisted conversions before giving up on an ad group or campaign
Jumping at once on novel technologies – like Expanded text ads were back then – may have a huge result
A tiny bid modification here and adding some negative keywords there means the world!
Never stop optimizing! In this digital world, you can always do better – and better is more sales. If you had any experience when tiny mods had a huge impact, please don’t hesitate to add a comment. If you know a similar adwords case study, feel free to add it in comment. I’d also highly appreciate sharing this one.